Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Jilly's Jems

There are times when I don't feel like I should share other people's stories, this is one of those times. Susan tells their story in a way that touches your heart and causes the tears--even the happy tears--to fall. However, I have so many faithful readers and so many good souls who follow this blog that I have to introduce you to a special family and ask you to keep hem your thoughts, well wishes, and prayers.

I also beg you to share their story.

For the life of me I cannot remember how I "met" Susan. I believe Susan had posted on a forum about her young daughter and how she refused to let melanoma rule her life and I commented because the post spoke to me. I was only 23 at the time, angry and scared of the unknown. Seeing Susan mention how Jillian wanted to continue on with school and her apartment living made me think I could do it too. Regardless of how we met, in the two years I've "known" Susan, she has continued to amaze me with her inner strength, the love she has for her children, and her true determination at getting the word out about the seriousness of melanoma. This is a mother who during her father's last few days on Earth asked him, "Dad, when you get to Heaven, will you wait for Jillian and be there for her when she gets to Heaven too? Will you give her a big hug from her mama? I want to be able to tell her that you and I spoke about it, and that you will be waiting for her". She is real and honest. (To read more about The Promise: http://jilliansjourneywithmelanoma.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-promise.html)

Susan is one determined Mama Bear!
This billboard, and others, have been in numerous places like Michigan & North Carolina!

Anyway, I'm sure Susan is itching for me to stop talking about her, so let me give you a brief introduction to the beautiful Jillian. She's 23 years old, newly married, and has been gracefully battling stage IV melanoma since 2010. Last night she was told that the chemo is not working. Jillian is 23 years old, the brain mets are inoperable and the chemo is not working. She has heard the words, "It will take a miracle for you to survive." Yet, she fought on. She has lived life with a laugh, a hug for her mama, and an independent streak that causes me smile every time Susan mentions it.

I don't know what's next for this beautiful family, but as Melanoma Prayer Center posted today on their Facebook page: "Please, when the time comes, never say "Jillian lost her battle." Jillian will not lose at all. Her motto is "fall seven times, stand eight." When melanoma knocks her down that final time here on earth, she will not only STAND at Heaven's Gates, she'll run through them a WINNER! She's got her granddaddy waiting for her and Jesus will welcome her. Sounds like a winner to me!"

To Jillian and her family, we send our love and prayers.


Pammy said...

I ask God to continue to ease any pain, comfort Sue, Jillian and their family.

Jennifer Childress Martin said...

Beautifully written, Chelsea. My heart aches for Susan and Jillian.

Melissa S. said...

So beautiful and tragic. I am so glad to hear she and her family are full of optimism, and that her grandfather will be there to greet her with open arms :) What a beautiful soul, she is. I'll ask my dad to find her Up There and give her a big hug from one Melanoma warrior to another :)

Al said...

Chelsea, this one got to me emotionally. A beautiful post honoring a beautiful family.

Kisma said...

all the prayers and thoughts being sent to them. As always- thank you for sharing.

Unknown said...

Wonderful post. <3